XP stuck in sleep mode

Hello, My neighbour's Acer travelmate 240 goes straight to sleep mode at startup. Monitor on the laptop stays black but screen can be seen faintly with icons etc. using an anglepoise lamp shining right on the screen. Sound is good and Antivirus updates automatically etc.

I have hooked up a spare monitor which briefly flashes the Acer logo at boot up then msg says entering sleep mode.

I can start up no problem in safe mode on the spare monitor but monitor on the laptop stays almost black.

Any suggestions much appreciated.
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